Walther: Every Statement of the Sermon Is to be Taken from the Word of God *UPDATED*

In the article below, What Is the Difference Between a Good Sermon and a Bad One?, Pastor Todd Wilken quotes Dr. C.F.W. Walther:

The value of a sermon depends not only on this, that every statement in it be taken from the Word of God and be in agreement with the same, but also on this, whether Law and Gospel have been rightly divided.  (C.F.W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, pp. 31–32. http://www.lutherantheology.com/uploads/works/walther/LG/lecture-04.html)

Did you read that carefully, pastors? EVERY STATEMENT OF YOUR SERMON MUST MUST BE TAKEN FROM THE WORD OF GOD — not your own mind. And STOP GIVING US A BAD BOOK-REPORT-SUMMARY OF THE TEXT! Conform your thinking and speaking to the way God would have you think and speak: reading from the languages God used in the original text (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek), explain in the common vernacular what God is telling us.

Walther’s thought is reflected in my article, Shepherds that Hate Their Flocks 4, where I wrote:

And forget about the pastor actually studying the Scriptures in the original languages to see how the Gospel (or any) lesson for that Sunday should be preached. No, he’ll just get up and tell us what *he* thinks it means. No context; nothing. Either he’s too lazy to study the original languages or just busies himself with “doing ministry” or with his personal life that the languages fall by the wayside.

Mostly, though, he hates his people. He has given up on his promise, spoken so solemnly during his installation, to preach the Gospel in all its truth and purity and to administer the Sacraments according to Christ’s institution. He refuses to confront sins with the Law, especially his own sins, let alone his members’ sins. He refuses to examine the Ten Commandments to see through the mirror of God’s Law how utterly terribly he hates his own parishioners. He would rather neglect telling them that they are damnable sinners, completely deserving of God’s wrath and punishment, including the fire of hell and eternal separation from God. He refuses to call them to repentance and to turn from their sins and believe the Gospel, that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, paid for their sins on the bloody crucifixion cross.

Pastor David Petersen, Redeemer Lutheran, Ft. Wayne, Ind. was on Issues, Etc. two days ago, and once again discussed Preaching with Pastor Todd Wilken:

I pray this for all pastors:

Almighty and gracious God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, You have commanded us to pray that You would send forth laborers into Your harvest. Of Your infinite mercy give us true teachers and ministers of Your Word who truly fulfill Your command and preach nothing contrary to Your holy Word.  Grant that we, being warned, instructed, nurtured, comforted, and strengthened by Your holy Word, may do those things which are well-pleasing to You and profitable for our salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. (Lutheran Service Book, p. 306)

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